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A fresh hindrance capable of frustrating Federal Government’s drive to deepen Agro investments has been uncovered at Nigerian international airports.
Currently, farmers and exporters in the Airfreight business are now moving their farm exports activities to Ghanaian international airports where handling charges are salutary.
While decrying what they described as exorbitant tariff charges imposed by the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) on agricultural produce which have gone up as high as N5000 per kilo of goods, the Agro exporters say if the government fails to cut the excesses of its agencies, gains of the succeeding back to farm policy may collapse.
Chairman of Airfreight Forum, Sunday Akintunde, who spoke in Abuja decried that “Agro exporters now prefer to carry their goods to Ghana and export with Ghanaian label to other parts of the world, thereby growing the economy, instead of Nigeria’s.”
He said “This is now because there is no way our members can breakthrough on paying as high as N5000 per kilo of farm products planned for export.
Akintunde added that the high tariff has pushed a lot of them out of business, as there is no return on investment, adding that it has indeed hampered export business in the country.
According to him, “We have a lot of challenges, one of it is the cost of exporting cargo, the aim of any business man is to have return on investment and unfortunately we don’t have that, there is so much bureaucracy by government agencies, inspection agencies like those in charge of issuing form CCI (Certificate of Capital Importation).”
He revealed that the major goods that exported out of Nigeria are foodstuffs, which is being regulated by the NAQS, but with a tariff as high as N5000 per kilo and you have a weight of 200kg, if you multiply that, what will be left for you cannot return you to the business and that means collapse.
While calling on government to review its policies and remove all the bottlenecks, Akintunde added that the world is changing and does not do the kind of manual documentation anymore.
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